Recoleta is a neighborhood home to the wealthy elite of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. The area features large mansion homes, open green areas, and a number of chic restaurants, cafés and bars. While it may be a little on the pricier side, the elegance and sophistication of the neighbourhood makes it totally justified. Here’s our list of the best places to drink in Recoleta.
Notorious is a popular and fashionable jazz bar. At the front of the establishment is a music store offering a number of genres, while out the back is the bar area where the main focus is certainly jazz. Several times a week, the bar hosts live jazz acts starting at 9.30pm, making Notorious a great spot for a few drinks before heading out to a nightclub. The place is pretty small, with an open floor area for the acts rather than a stage, which makes for a great intimate atmosphere. It also serves as a café during the day.
Milión is an attractive bar, set in a chic refurbished French neo-classical former home, with a wealthy and sophisticated clientèle to match. The owners have been highly successful in bringing back some classic Parisian charm to their establishment, but without creating an exclusive and pretentious ambience. The menu is primarily full of flavourful cocktails and top quality wine. There is an indoor seating area, as well as lovely shady patio area, accessible by a sweeping stone staircase from the main house. Guests will come for the bar experience, but the house is truly a beautiful attraction in itself.
Disguised as a florist on the outside, Florería Atlántico is in fact an extremely stylish bar with one of the city’s leading cocktail experts as its co-owner, a sure sign of an excellent cocktail joint. The concept of the bar is centred around the travels and experiences of the owners, and aims to create an ambience that is always welcoming and open to anyone. The menu divides the drinks and flavours into the countries by which they are inspired. For example, France offers cognac, while England offers earl grey. The decor of the bar is modern and stylish yet also warm and inviting; rustic wooden beams and a low ceiling make it a comfortable and cosy place to enjoy a few drinks.
Set inside a refurbished classic mansion home is Casa Bar, a popular joint with students and young professionals. It is an American-style sports bar, and shows regular sports games including the NFL, which also makes it a favourite of American expats. The bar food is typically American (think buffalo wings and chicken strips), with an excellent range of international beer available. Casa Bar is surprisingly fashionable for a sports bar as well as clean and modern; it is not an exclusive place but owing to its location inside a historic building, it has successfully maintained Recoleta’s elegance, with high ceilings, large mirrors and intricate arches.
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 7pm-4am
Watch out for: different happy hour specials each night of the week
You Know My Name is a bar with a restaurant open earlier in the evenings. The interior is stylish and modern, with comfortable sofas and armchairs in the bar area. In charge of the music is a ‘VJ’ rather than a DJ, playing classic music video hits, usually from the 80s or 90s. There are several rooms which have slightly different playlists, but all with a similar old-school vibe. A great spot for a fun evening with friends.
Gran Bar Danzón is a chic and sophisticated wine bar. It also serves as a restaurant, but the real appeal is the fantastic selection of wines available to order by the glass (there are over 300 varieties). Inside there is atmospheric candle light and low tables and sofas, with an elegant bar area where guests can sit; the bar itself lights up and the wall behind is covered with bottles. As well as wine, there is an excellent cocktail menu featuring a range of martinis, mojitos, and other classics. Gran Bar Danzón is most popular with a slightly older clientèle, such as business professionals or couples.
The amusingly named Club Shampoo is actually one of the city’s best locations to be seen in among the wealthy of Buenos Aires. It used to be a seedy caberet and strip club, but it has been totally refurbished and is now one of city’s most fashionable spots, with its chandeliers, sophisticated drinks menu and leather sofa booths. It attracts world-famous DJs and the vibe is very exclusive with a capacity of only 220.
A Creative Commons Image: The Kilkenny "Guinness Sign"
| Philip Choi/Flickr
Jack the Ripper
Inside a Parisian-style refurbished mansion is Jack the Ripper, a bar specialising in cocktails. The interior design is in keeping with the style of the house, but with an unusual Victorian England-style design that gives the bar its name. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s named after one of London’s most infamous serial killers though, the atmosphere is fun and friendly, with music that is mostly British hits from the 1980s onwards. The bar is large, and spread over two floors, with plenty of tables and sofas. That’s not to say that there are always places to sit, however, since the bar is usually full, especially at weekends.
Buller Brewing Company is an excellent brew pub with its very own craft beers. They offer six different varieties, including a stout, pilsen, and an IPA, as well as a good food menu too. If it’s too hard to pick just one, so also available is a sampler, which is a small glass of each beer. It is in an excellent location (right next to Recoleta Cemetery) and has a lovely outdoor patio out the front, a great spot to take in the bustling atmosphere of central Recoleta at any time of day.
For those with a little more spare cash to spend, Pony Line Bar is the bar located within the Four Seasons Hotel. It is unsurprisingly excellent quality, chic and elegant, with an unusual polo and horse-themed interior design. Details include elegant leather sofas, polo-related artwork, and rustic wooden cocktail tables. The bar is an ideal spot for a relaxing and sophisticated afternoon or evening, and attracts a clientèle of wealthy locals and business professionals.